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Care Instructions for a Zygopetalum Orchid

These care instructions are written specifically for our zygopetalum orchids.  Other growers may have different requirements for their plants based on how they have grown their orchids.  But if you have a Brennan’s Orchids zygo, these rules will help you keep it happy and robust.

Rule No. 1:  Let the planting medium dry between waterings.  If your plant is potted in moss, pinch the top of the mix.  When the top of the mix is just dry between your fingers, take the pot to the sink and water the pot with tepid water until the water is pouring out the drainage holes.  Let the plant drain thoroughly.  If your plant is in bark, let the mix dry ¼ to 1/3 of the way down into the pot between watering.  If you see black freckles or pitting appear on your leaves, the plant either got too dry or too hot.  Zygos do not enjoy temperatures over 85 degrees.

Rule No. 2:  Give the plant the proper light.  Morning or late afternoon light is best.  That means an East, West, or shaded South-facing window.  Avoid direct sun during the harshest “skin cancer” hours.

Rule No. 3:  Regular meals all year long, please.  Your orchid does not go dormant.  When not full of buds and blooms, your orchid is growing roots and leaves so it will have the energy to put out more blooms the next cycle.  Feed your plant every other watering with a balanced (20-20-20) plant fertilizer mixed at ½ strength or a balanced orchid fertilizer.

Rule No. 4:  If your plant is potted in New Zealand long fiber sphagnum moss, repot your plants every two years; increasing the pot size just enough to fit the new air root growth into the pot, not more than an inch at a time.  If your plant is in bark, repot every year.  Repotting usually occurs in late spring or right after all the blossoms are spent and gone.  Moisten the mix prior to use.  Pot the plant so that the mix is firm but still airy.

Rule No. 5:  This is more of a guideline than a rule.  The older leaves will sometimes get brown tips.  This is normal and you don’t have to do a thing.  If you find it unappealing, you can trim the brown tips off.  Sterilize your cutting instrument first, please.